Prairie Village, VanTrust looking to bring fireworks display back to Meadowbrook this 4th of July

After considering alternatives that would promote COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, the Leawood City Council voted 6-2 to cancel its Fourth of July fireworks show. Councilmembers will discuss the possibility of a Labor Day fireworks show at its Aug. 3 meeting. Photo credit Jorgen Kesseler. Used under a Creative Commons license.

A summer holiday tradition that’s been absent in Prairie Village the past several years may be set to make a return.

The city council on Monday will discuss the idea of partnering with VanTrust Real Estate to bring a Fourth of July fireworks display to Meadowbrook Park. The display would be funded in part with proceeds from the transient guest tax that will be levied at the new Meadowbrook Inn when it opens later this spring. VanTrust has told the city it’s willing to commit around $9,000 in additional funding for a show as well.

Meadowbrook Country Club had for years put on an annual Independence Day fireworks show that was open to people from around the area. But as the club’s financial situation declined, it called off the show in 2010, and then brought it back as a members-only event in the years that followed. When the club closed for good in 2014, the display went with it.

But, with the former club grounds now in active use as a public park and VanTrust housing development, both the city and the company are interested in bringing fireworks back to the site.

Time appears to be of the essence if the parties are going to coordinate a display for this year, as the number of companies capable of putting on such a display in the area is limited and many metro cities have already signed contracts with pyrotech firms. However, a fireworks company representative met with the fire marshal this week and tentatively selected the sledding hill east of the Meadowbrook Clubhouse as the site for the fireworks to be set off. If the parties sign off on an agreement, it would also need to be approved by Johnson County Park and Recreation District, which operates the park.

Prairie Village officials have also expressed interest in combining the fireworks display with the annual VillageFest celebration, but since planning for this year’s VillageFest is already well underway, merging the events wouldn’t be a possibility until next year.